A slide scanner or a copier

Discussion in 'Scanners' started by Gautam Majumdar, Dec 27, 2004.

  1. I am a complete newbie for digital photography. My problem is that I need
    to convert some 600 transparencies into digital images. These are all
    photomicrographs of human blood cells & tissues. I took them using high
    resolution transparencies, Kodachrome 25, Agfachrome 50L & some older ones
    with 16 ASA Kodak photomicrography film (is my age showing :)). I use the
    slides for teaching and presentation in meetings & conferences. The
    digital images will be projected at high maginification, on 6 - 12 feet
    (2-4 m) wide screens. So, I need to get their resolution as high as

    I have got two different advices. One is that I should get a good slide
    scanner with DPI 3600 and scan them all. I looked in the available ones &
    it appears that PF3650Pro3 (marketed in UK by Jessops under their own
    badge) is reasonably priced & has that degree of resolution. The other
    advise is that I should use a good digital SLR with a slide copier to
    convert the slides into digital images. Incidentally, my son has just
    bought me a Canon 300D for the Christmas (according to him - to drag me
    into the third millenium). I think I can fit my old slide copier to it
    with a suitable T2 mount.

    My questions are

    (1) Which option would produce higher quality images ? Quality is the most
    important point here as I have to use those images, with Powerpoint or a
    similar program, for lectures, etc.

    (2) Copying slides on a camera with a slide copier is a rather cumbersome
    technique & I guess, would be quite time consuming. Jessops shop assistant
    told me that their slide scanner can scan a slide in less than a minute.
    If it proves reasonably painless, I shall probably convert some/all of my
    other transparencies into digital images as well. So would a scanner be
    the better choice for 600 slides ?

    (3) For the copier option I shall have to get only a T2 mount worth £10.
    For the scaner option it would be £280. Is the outlay worth for the
    purpose ?

    Thanks for the advice.
    Gautam Majumdar, Dec 27, 2004
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  2. Gautam Majumdar

    RSD99 Guest

    For better quality ... get a slide / film scanner.
    RSD99, Dec 27, 2004
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  3. Yes...but he is in for a surprise...the salesman is not being truthful, I
    suspect. Depending on the resolution it might take quite a bit longer to
    scan the slides. With 600 of them to do it might take quite a while. In any
    event he wants more resolution than the camera will give so why consider it?
    Gene Palmiter, Dec 27, 2004
  4. Gautam Majumdar

    paul Guest

    Here's a $65 adapter for ($2,000) DSLRs:
    It's basically a cheap macro adapter. I wonder how bad that is for a
    decent DSLR? It sure would be quicker & convenient to have matching file
    sizes. My old slides aren't that great that I need 100MB tiffs of each
    one. I remember reading the adapeters for a smaller digicam were really
    bad losing a lot of range in the pictures. For the original poster, his
    digital projector is only going to be 1024x768 unless he has a $10,000
    projector budget.
    paul, Dec 27, 2004
  5. If you already have a DSLR and an adapter why not just try it out on a few
    of your slides and see what result you get?

    Also take those same slides to the shop and ask them to demonstrate the slde
    scanner. You can then compare.

    A third thing I would do is to take the samer slides to a commercial copying
    service and ask them to do a sample batch together with a quote for the lot.

    If you compare the resultant files and have the details of cost, time,
    convenience, etc you can make an informed decision.

    And please when you are done let us know what the results were and the
    decision you have made. Then we can learn too.


    Gerrit - Oz
    Gerrit 't Hart, Dec 28, 2004
  6. digital projector is only going to be 1024x768 unless he has a $10,000
    A piece of information I had long forgotten. So...that changes everything.
    Save money and time and use the camera...it will still be too large for the
    Gene Palmiter, Dec 28, 2004
  7. Gautam Majumdar

    Mark² Guest

    While that may be true, it is ONLY a limitation if/when he is viewing the
    image full-size. If he has a higher res image, he can, and most likely
    WOULD simply zoom in on the image--which would allow him to see real detail
    even on the projector as he looks at PORTIONS of each image more closely.

    I do this all the time when viewing images on my own 1024x768 projector.
    You can pan or zoom to portions ofthe image that you want to inspect. It is
    very effective for this.

    So... Larger file sizes are indeed useful...even on a limited res
    Mark², Dec 28, 2004
  8. Good advice Gerrit. I have already made some inquiries on those lines.
    Some general photographic shops in UK have slide scanning service which
    would come to about £0.50 per slide; they told me that the resolution
    would be in the 3000-3600 DPI range. The service does not include anything
    other than scanning the slides into a digital image in jpeg format. For
    600 slides, the cost would be more than the scanner itself. I am not in a
    rush to convert all the slides in one go - I shall be happy to do them all
    over 3-6 months. The professional slide scanning services I inquired about
    would be too costly. I was quoted a figure of around £5 per slide for the
    lot which would include retouching, etc. The resolution would be
    determined by them but may go up to 8000 DPI. They would do sample service
    but the cost would be prohibitive for me and I am not persuing that line.
    Unfortunately, the shops are not keen to show the results of the scanner I
    have in mind by using it on the spot. They showed me only the pictures in
    the brochure :-(.

    I have ordered a T2 mount and shall try the camera-slide copier
    combination first. The copier has reasonably good optics, I have copied
    many slides with it with satisfactory results. I shall probably get the
    scanner as well and shall compare the results. And of course, I shall let
    all of you know the outcome.
    Gautam Majumdar, Dec 28, 2004
  9. Well, I shall have no control what so ever over the quality of the
    projector and I am sure it will vary widely. I shall use whatever
    equipment is provided by the organiser of the lecture, conference,
    meeting, etc. But some of them do have the highest quality professional
    equipment though. So, I would like to have the quality of my images as
    good as possible within the financial constraints.
    Gautam Majumdar, Dec 28, 2004
  10. Gautam Majumdar

    Nick Fotis Guest

    If he wants to use a 50mm lens for copying the slides, he'll need an
    extension ring for making the lens able to focus very closely (the 12mm
    isn't adequate, I think - he'll have to go for a 25mm ring at least).

    A slide copier has to drawback (due to the 1.6x magnification ratio)
    that a big part of the original slide will be cropped out.

    Best regards from Athens,
    Nick Fotis
    Nick Fotis, Dec 28, 2004
  11. Gautam Majumdar

    paul Guest

    Another thing I just thought of is the camera solution probably
    introduces wierd curvature which would look awful with text and diagrams.
    paul, Dec 28, 2004
  12. Gautam Majumdar

    Ron Baird Guest

    Greetings Gautam,

    Both solutions you have mentioned will work for you. But, I suspect that
    for the best results a professional lab will do the best work. I would
    investigate the cost of having your slides scanned at a pro lab and how they
    might deliver the files to you. I suggest this as the images you want to
    use are of considerable value and I assume you want the very best results.
    It will cost you a bit more, but you will have the images digitized and you
    can then distribute them as you see fit, as well as use them for teaching
    and so on. The originals could then be stored archivally for the future.
    Film scanners are expensive and likely more than the cost of having a lab do
    that work.

    Something to think about.

    Talk to you soon, Gautam,

    Ron Baird
    Eastman Kodak Company
    Ron Baird, Jan 4, 2005
  13. Gautam Majumdar

    Glenn Jacobs Guest

    I have a Minolta, Dimage 3 that cost me about $250. It produces a 6
    Mega-Pixel Tiff file. I have run over 1,000 slides through mine and it
    works like a charm. It is a bit slow taking a couple of minutes per slide.
    It also alows a small amount of editing, color, contrast and light
    correction at the time of scanning. The results have better resolution
    than any projector that I have used. I would think with a good digital
    project you would get better resolution than you got when you projected
    Glenn Jacobs, Jan 4, 2005
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